[Soul has returned to Earth, and is visiting her guardian angel, Epheniel, in her conference room in the Great Hall. As we listen in on one of their conversations, we hear them discussing humanity’s shift into Oneness, and how one soul can – and must – strive to make a difference.]
I gasped at the enormity of the task. “How in heaven’s name do I possibly accomplish something that massive? I’m not exactly Michael, the Archangel, you know.”
“Did I hear someone call me?” Another gasp rose from me as I spun around to find Michael behind me, his hands on his hips with a wide grin spread across his face. At least I thought it was Michael, lounging comfortably on one of Epheniel’s divans. However, he no longer resembled a young Greek god; he wore more modern-day clothing – from the ‘70’s, no less: faded bellbottom jeans, sandals, and a decidedly worn red flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up. I peered closer. Are those love beads around his neck? What had been his beautiful, flowing hair was now held in place with a piece of cording around his forehead; a yellow daisy bobbed from behind one ear. I was clearly shocked.
Without considering possible seraphic repercussions, I blurted, “What happened to you? You looked so good before – so archangelish. Now, …” Simultaneously, my face crimsoned and my voice faded.
Michael’s laugh filled the room. “What, you don’t like the garb?” The archangel rose from the divan and purposely strode toward me. Instinctively, I moved closer to my angel. “Haven’t you ever heard the expression, The clothes make the archangel? Come on, Soul, speak up! I’m a busy angel and haven’t got all day!” He grinned from ear to ear, one of which held a small, shiny gold hoop. “Actually, I do have all day since there’s no time around these parts, but I love that Earth expression!”
“What happened?” I repeated dully. Why is it I sound like an idiot every time Michael comes around?
Another peal of laughter shook the room. “You’re not an idiot, Soul – just human, which isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive!” He paused. “Actually, I thought it was time for you to dispel a few of those closely held paradigms of yours. Here’s a news flash: I’m not crazy about humans thinking of me as a Greek god. Just as you don’t like people pigeon-holing you, I don’t either. I’m just Michael. Just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill angel, whose mission is to help humanity.” He paused in thought. “Well, just an ordinary archangel. Wait, make that an important ordinary archangel.” Suddenly, he puffed up his chest and a glowing mist surrounded him; a powerful floodlight shone upon him. His voice filled my being. “I AM MICHAEL OF ARCHANGEL FAME, PRINCE OF THE REALM AND THE ANGELIC HOSTS, LORD OF THE ARCHANGELS, ANGEL OF DELIVERANCE AND PROTECTOR EXTRAORDINAIRE!”
PROTECTOR EXTRAORDINAIRE? Hmm. I thought. Haven’t heard that one before.
“I just threw that one in for good measure!” Michael replied. “There are many more titles that speak of my enormous importance, but because of my incredible modesty, I will leave it at that.”
I snorted softly and watched the floodlight vanish and the mist clear. Michael’s clothing had been exchanged for royal garb. He now wore a gold tunic with precious gems encrusted at the collar. This was covered with a red velvet cloak, which trailed behind him. He carried a scepter and wore a ridiculously oversized golden crown, which covered most of his eyes. He reminded me of a young boy dressing-up as King Arthur.
I couldn’t help but laugh. “Now you look positively ridiculous! I think I prefer the faded hippie look, Michael-of-Archangel-Fame.”
“So do I!” In a heartbeat, Michael returned to the casual look.
“That’s much better, Soul – laugh! You humans take yourselves so seriously. Sure, it’s tough on the Earth realm, but for Pete’s sake, you chose your lot, so live it joyfully until it’s time to come Home. And besides, if we’re going to work together we need a good working relationship – one filled with lots of love and light and laughter.”
“We’re going to work together?” I didn’t want to sound like a parrot, but this angel apparently wasted no time on chitchat, and I knew I would need all my wits about me just to keep up with him. Suddenly, unbidden feelings of insecurity descended upon me. “You want to work with me?”
“For Pete’s sake, Soul, you sound so human. Come on, release the ego, filled with feelings of unworthiness and look at me through the eyes of your Higher Self. We are both light beings, filled with love and light, dedicated to helping this planet reawaken. Until you can do this – unify all parts of your being in the Light – we cannot possibly accomplish together that which we both seek.” His words made perfect sense. I released the awe and the unworthiness and faced him. “There! That’s more like it! Now that we have that squared away, Soul, what did you need?”
“Need?” I asked, mildly perplexed.
“Didn’t you call me, Soul? I distinctly heard you call my name. Is there anything you wanted?” By now, mild perplexion had changed to total bewilderment. I was flummoxed. How could I tell this powerful archangel that I was gently teasing? I looked over at my own beloved angel, who only shrugged as if to say I was the highly evolved being who had stuck my highly evolved foot in my mouth; it was up to me to remove it. I took a deep breath.
“Actually, I have some questions for you if you don’t mind and have the time,” I began hesitantly. When one archangelic eyebrow arched, I took another tact. “I’m glad you came today, Michael. I have a question for you.” He grinned.
“Have you always been an archangel?”
“You mean, as opposed to being a milkman or something?” He shook his head as if he had given the matter great thought. “No, Soul, in all of eternity, I can’t say I ever recall being a milkman.” He paused. “You know, might have been a silversmith for a short while. Love that shiny metal, and I might possibly have been a demolition expert – you know, using that big ol’ crane with that awesome wrecking ball, but as for a milkman, no, I can’t really say I’ve spent any time in that particular career.”
“Actually,” I interrupted when he slowed down long enough for me to jump back into the conversation, “I was wondering if you had always been the age you are now. Were you ever a young angel?” I immediately reddened, hoping he wouldn’t think I looked upon him as old. He grinned.
He patted his hair and laughed. “What? A little gray showing these days? I can appear to be any age and in any form I wish, Soul. If I am near young humans, it would scare them silly if a large male angel brandishing a powerful sword suddenly materialized in front of them, so in that case, I choose to take the form of someone closer to their age.” He paused. “Angels can appear however they wish for any situation. It’s one of our perks!” He peered at me and smiled.
“I get it. You’re trying to understand me, aren’t you, Soul? Get a grip on that old archangel thing?” I nodded and he grinned. “Tell you what. I’ll help you. Have you ever played the Realm’s Who I Am?”
“Who I Am?” When he nodded, I shook my head.
“It’s a great game. One of us picks a category and we share our favorites. It’s an awesome way to get to know each other – you know, who I am. I’ll start it off.” I nodded and he plopped down beside us. Epheniel grinned broadly, clearing enjoying herself. “Color.”
“October blue or forest green.” I looked at him, awaiting his answer.
“Purple. Definitely deep, royal purple. Looks good with my eyes. Season?”
“Spring, when Life returns to replenish our Earth and spirits. You?”
“Because you like to make those pretty, little snow angels?” He snorted. He actually snorted. Michael, the Archangel, Prince of the Realm, snorted. I glanced over at Epheniel. “Is he allowed to snort? Isn’t that against some rule? Where’s that Handbook of yours when we need it? And, furthermore, what may I ask, is wrong with cute, little snow angels?”
Epheniel smiled. “Soul, you’re on your own here. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this.” She smiled at Michael, got more comfortable and closed her eyes. Michael was thoroughly enjoying himself, some of which appeared to be distinctly at my expense.
“Snow angels? Are you kidding? I love winter because you can build great snow forts and have amazing snowball battles and build snowmen with powerful swords hanging at their sides, then come inside, peel off the leggings and the boots and the coats and the mittens and warm up with cocoa.” He paused and grinned. “Double marshmallows.” He paused again. “Food.”
“Hmm. Probably fresh fruit and vegetables like cherries, peaches, corn on the cob and tomatoes. You?”
“Hot dogs, coleslaw and a cold brew.” He laughed at my expression and continued. “If you want to make me really happy, hand me those foods and stick me at a baseball game. Ah, now that’s my idea of heaven!” He grinned and then added, “As long as we’re discussing food, what’s your favorite dessert?”
“Ice cream,” I promptly answered. “Mint chocolate chip.” He started to talk, but I held up my hands. “Wait! Let me guess!” I begged. “I bet I can answer this one: angel food cake!”
Another snort came my way. “Yuck! No thanks. I like something ooey-gooey, delicious and wickedly rich. Give me devil’s food cake any time – double fudge icing, please, and maybe some of those little sprinkle things on top – and you’ll make me one happy angel.”
He rubbed his chin in thought. Suddenly, his eyes lit up. “Holiday!”
I didn’t need any time to think. “Christmas! At last we’ve found something we have in common!” My elation oozed out of my body as I saw Michael slowly shake his head.
“Halloween!” he grinned.
“Isn’t that kind of ..., well, illegal for you guys?” He looked at me questioningly.
“It started out as a pagan holiday, you know. Children dress up as witches and demons running about ...”
“I don’t need to celebrate Christmas one day a year, Soul. I live the spirit of Christmas every day.” More paradigms came crashing around my ankles. “Just as I live the spirit of all religious holidays that bring human spirits closer to the Light. You see, Soul, we are not purely Christian angels and archangels, but work with all souls, regardless of their cultural or religious beliefs – or if they have none at all.”
“But Halloween?” I was clearly at a loss for words.
He grinned. “You wouldn’t be casting judgment, now, would you, Soul?” I reddened again, this time a deeper crimson. How do I get myself into these predicaments? He laughed heartily. “Because you’re human, Human. Sure, some cross the line into the occult, which is dangerous to their inner core, but all in all, most understand that it is just fun. In fact, I’ve done more than my share of trick-or-treating in my day, wearing this great angel getup.” He leaned over to whisper, “You’re not the only one smitten with angel wings. But seriously, Halloween is a time of great imagination in which kids of all ages shed reality and attempt to step into someone else’s for a short time, Soul. And while the different reality may be only imaginary, it’s good practice for when we ask them to do it on a spiritual level.” I looked blank. “The paradigm shift? That shift in consciousness won’t happen unless human spirits step out of their own little realities and comfort zones in order to see the Big Picture.” I nodded, still trying to figure out if his logic made sense. I soon gave up because he announced another topic.
“Television show? Let me get this straight. You are Michael, the Archangel, Battling Avenger of the Universe, Protector Extraordinaire, and you have time to watch television?” He grinned and nodded. I was just going to have to rethink all of this angel stuff. “Well, I don’t watch much television, but when I do, I stay away from the violent shows. I suppose a good, old-fashioned movie would be my favorite.”
“Chick flick.” I could only nod at this point. My mind had been blown several topics ago, so by now I was feeling pretty numb. I arched my eyebrows questioningly.
“Well, I thought I understood angels, but it appears I have a lot to learn. I suppose you’re not going to tell me your favorite show is Touched by an Angel or Highway to Heaven?” The familiar snort exploded from him again.
“Cartoons,” I repeated.
Michael grinned and I was suddenly reminded of a sleepy, little tousled-haired boy padding his way into the family room on an early Saturday morning to watch his favorite shows, dragging his blanket in one hand and his teddy bear in the other. “I love cartoons.” Michael grinned and nodded. “Good versus evil.”
I shook my head free from its meanderings. “Pardon me?”
“Good versus evil, Soul, – positive and negative energy. Right there on the screen.” When I still looked confused, he paused to find an explanation.
“Okay,” he said, “Take the Roadrunner as an example.”
“Right. Talk about your positive and negative energy. That ol' coyote, like the mind’s scheming, creates earthly toils in trying to catch the roadrunner and what happens every single time?”
“A commercial comes?”
“No, Soul, stay with me. The coyote gets zapped. Anvils fall on him. He slams into things. He gets blown up by his own devices. What goes around, comes around?”
“I guess I never really viewed The Roadrunner Show in exactly those particular spiritual terms.”
“Oh, I love that little guy. Hey, there’s another one I love, too. Want to guess?” I could only shake my head, but it didn’t matter – he wasn’t planning on awaiting my reply. When I had thought I needed all my wits about me, I had had no idea how right I was. “Elmer Fudd.”
“Yeah, you know, Elmer Fudd and that wascally wabbit?”
“So, what you’re telling me is that Michael, the Archangel, Prince of the Realm, Lord of the Archangels, and …”
“… Protector Extraordinaire watches and loves the Roadrunner and Elmer Fudd.”
“Hey, don’t forget the wascally wabbit. See, another perfect example of what I was saying. Elmer Fudd wastes all that time and energy chasing after Bugs Bunny. There is never any question of who is going to triumph, is there? And there you have it!” I shook my head.
“And the exact spiritual message again is ...?”
“Don’t waste time on negative energy unless you want to be zapped. Or get blown up. Or have an anvil dropped on your head.”
“Okay, okay. I think I get your drift. Maybe we’d better move on. If you watch television, you must see an occasional movie. Favorite?” His face lit up.
He leaped to his feet, startling me, pulled out his sword and struck a dramatic pose. “Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk and Captain Blood!” He sighed longingly. “I love swashbucklers. I can just see myself, standing on the deck of a ship in my shiny black boots, a white, ruffled shirt, sporting a gold earring, a ruby ring and a patch over one eye, buckling my swash and using my awesome fencing skills to smite the bad guys.” I nodded.
“Isn’t that a little, ... well, violent for an archangel with all that smiting and stuff?” I asked suspiciously. “Doesn’t that go against the whole angels-are-gentle-beings-of-light thing?”
Michael laughed. “You have to remember, Soul, that I am a battler by nature. You also have to remember that I love your Earth. It’s so ... physical. You may yearn to feel connected to this realm, Soul, but many on this realm yearn for the physicality of yours.”
“Wow. I never thought of it that way. You really would love to spend your day buckling and smiting, wouldn’t you?” He grinned and nodded.
“I’ll choose It’s a Wonderful Life,” I said. “It always makes me cry. And I like Clarence, that angel who seems to struggle as much as my earthly self does these days.”
I gazed at Michael a moment before suggesting the next topic. “Sports,” I said. “Let me guess the sport you like most like to play.” Before he could answer, I added, “Basketball?”
“Nope,” he answered. “Football. Hard-hitting, no holds barred, down in the dirt, in-your-face football. Of course, before football, I was a great fan of jousting tournaments, but they kind of fell out of disfavor after the Middle Ages.” He paused in thought. “Great fun,” he mused, “those Middle Ages.”
“Yep, sounds like a swell time,” I replied. “It’s that battle thing going on here again, isn’t it?” He grinned and nodded. “Good thing you weren’t given the title, Michael, the Archangel, Protector of Knitters. You’d never survive all these millennia with nothing but yarn and needles.”
“Sure I would, Soul. Knitting needles make great swords!” He paused briefly and announced the next topic:. “Favorite subject in school.”
“History,” I immediately answered without thought, but then realization dawned. “Hey, I thought you said you’ve always been an adult-sized angel. Are you telling me you went to -– what? Seventh Heaven Angel Academy?”
“Nah,” he admitted, “just wondered what your favorite subject had been. Had I gone to school, though, my second favorite subject would have been history, too, with all that battling going on throughout the book pages, but I have to admit, recess would have most likely won over history! Oh, and don’t forget lunch!”
He suddenly turned serious. “Well, Soul, it’s been lots of fun talking with you and getting to know you, but I have lots to do and so must leave. The world is a mess out there! Thanks for all your help.” He leaned over, kissed me on the forehead and whispered, “We’ll talk later. Stay in touch.” I blinked once and he was gone. I sighed deeply and turned to Epheniel.
“His energy is exhausting!” I grinned. “I had no idea he was that much – well, fun. Who would have ever guessed?”
“Angels are by your side in serious situations, Soul, and can comfort you in times of great sorrow, but always remember how much we love to laugh. Humans so often take themselves too seriously. As Michael said, you chose your life, so there’s no point in blaming God or moaning and groaning, is there? The only one you can blame is yourself. Live it joyfully. Laugh! Learn those lessons you chose. There is a need to learn how to lighten up, as your phrase goes. That’s one part of our job that we particularly love!”
I nodded and let my mind wander. “You know, if Michael had gone to school, I can just imagine his third grade report card:”
Seventh Heaven Angel Academy
Student: Michael, Archangel in Training, Level 3
Grades: Math: C+; Reading: C; History: B-; Science: C-;
Handwriting: D; Spelling: F
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Archangel,
Little Michael is not performing at expectation in my classroom because he has trouble staying in his seat and focusing on the task at hand. As a result, he has had many late/missed assignments in important subject areas. He much prefers to scamper about the room with his little cardboard sword, wreaking havoc. During our current event discussions, he often jumps onto the top of his desk, shouting, “I’ll take ‘em on. I’ll take ‘em all on! Let me at ‘em!”
His social skills need marked improvement; he is constantly challenging the Forces of Evil, as he puts it, to battle. We at Seventh Heaven Angel Academy find this especially disruptive when it occurs during a math test. We not only have never believed that fractions are inherently evil, but, I am quite sure you agree that his practice of randomly smiting textbooks must be strongly discouraged. (The bill for the replacement of those aforementioned smitten textbooks is in the mail.)
We further suggest your son be evaluated for AADD: Angelic Attention Deficit Disorder, as well as AHD: Angelic Hyperactive Disorder, and then be heavily medicated. This kind of imagination and energy just cannot be considered normal. As you can plainly see, the situation has become quite unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our fine little academy. One wonders if he spent more time learning those valuable spelling rules and less time flitting around, flaunting authority and smiting times tables, mightn’t he be more successful?
Now, unless these issues are seriously addressed and immediately resolved, we are afraid that little Michael’s future is in serious jeopardy. Do have a lovely day.
Boriana J. Sanctimonium
Third Grade Teacher
Seventh Heaven Angel Academy
(Excerpt from This Time Around – https://www.martyboyle.com – firstname.lastname@example.org)
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